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Goa Wildlife Board recommends periodic culling of Wild Boar, Species be declared as Vermin

Wild boars are common in the hinterland of the coastal state, a large part of which flanks the Western Ghats

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Wild Boar, Wikimedia
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Panaji, 12 October 2016: Wild Boars may soon be periodically culled in Goa as the state wildlife board on Wednesday recommended to the National Wildlife Board (NWB) that the species be declared as vermin.

Speaking to IANS, Environment and Forests Minister Rajendra Arlekar said the state wildlife board’s recommendation followed numerous petitions by farmers who, he said, blamed repeated forays by herds of wild boars for damage to their crops and plantations.

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“The state wildlife board has recommended to the NWB to cull wild boars in specific geographical areas and over specific periods of time because they destroy crops. The Board will scrutinise our recommendation and take an appropriate decision,” Arlekar said.

In May this year, Goa’s Agriculture Minister Ramesh Tawadkar had said that along with the wild boar, the national bird peacock, and the state animal the Great Indian bison, should also be declared as vermin, along with specific species of monkeys, because of the damage they cause to agricultural and horticultural crops.

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After public uproar following Tawadkar’s statement, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had gone on record to say that the peacock and bison would not be declared as vermin, but also added that other species which damage crops could be branded as vermin, after due processes by the state Forest Ministry.

Over the last few months, the Forests Ministry had been undertaking surveys of agricultural crops damage and the recommendation made by the state wildlife board to declare the wild boar as vermin was a product of this due diligence by the Arlekar-led ministry.

Wild boars are common in the hinterland of the coastal state, a large part of which flanks the Western Ghats. Wild boar meat, though contraband, is commonly served in homes and eateries flanking the forest areas.

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Arlekar, however, said that if the NWB gives the go-ahead, adequate safeguards would be ensured so that culling of the wild boar population is not indiscriminate.

“The culling will be allowed only in specific areas of the state and over defined periods of time,” Arlekar said. (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393